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What Makes Joining Teach For America a Distinct Opportunity?

From training to finances, explore what makes joining Teach For America as a corps member an opportunity unlike any other.

Corps member with student in the classroom.

By The TFA Editorial Team

October 28, 2019

There are many unique career options if you’re a new graduate or professional looking for a meaningful career change. However, if you’re looking to make an immediate social impact and pursue a purposeful career in and out of the classroom, here’s why Teach For America may be right for you.

Salary & Financial Support

Unlike some teaching-based organizations and programs that offer partial benefits, salary, or stipend, TFA corps members receive full benefits from school partners and a full-time teacher’s salary. In addition to full-time salary and benefits, many corps members are also eligible to receive AmeriCorps federal funding to help pay off student loans or cover some certification.  

To live out the mission of building an inclusive and diverse workforce, TFA offers need-based transitional funding to ensure that every accepted corps member facing a financial barrier receives financial support to make the transition from training to the first day of school.

Learn more about Teach For America’s salary and benefits package


Training & Leadership Development

The selection process to join the corps is highly competitive and the training robust. 

To help deepen your skills and impact, corps members go through a five-week training program called institute. During summer institute, you’ll receive hands-on, immersive teacher training and coaching. You’ll also meet and work side-by-side with TFA staff, alumni, and corps members and other community leaders who will quickly become part of your support system and network.


“I’m committed to using my experience in the classroom to have a positive impact on people—no matter where I go.”

Najee Johnson

Senior Director, AP Program Innovation, The College Board

Greater Delta: Mississippi & Arkansas Corps Member 2010

Teach For America views teaching as a profound act of leadership. In the classroom, corps members advance the academic and personal growth of their students and help strengthen their schools, and in doing so expand their perspectives, knowledge, and skills as educators, advocates, and leaders. That’s why, from the minute you begin teaching, TFA coaches and staff members are there to provide ongoing support that meets the unique needs of each corps member. To help hone your craft further, you’ll also be assigned a teacher coach who’ll provide one-on-one support, classroom visits, and in-depth guidance for the entirety of your two years in the classroom. 

Learn more about Teach For America’s training and leadership development.

Graduate School & Employer Partnerships

Whether your future lies in the classroom, educational leadership, public service, or the corporate sector, TFA is fortunate to partner with a variety of schools, universities, businesses, and organizations that deeply value your classroom leadership and the skills you can bring to the table.

When it comes to broadening your work experience and education, TFA’s graduate partnerships help make pursuing a graduate degree or additional certification a viable option for corps members and alumni through application fee waivers, tuition discounts, two-year deferrals, scholarship opportunities, and more. Depending on your region, you may also have the opportunity to attend graduate programs or courses throughout all or part of your two years of teaching. 

In addition, some of the nation’s most sought-after corporations and organizations—employers such as Google, IBM, KIPP, and McKinsey & Company—understand the unparalleled teacher training and leadership-building opportunities corps members gain while teaching in the corps. That’s why 1,000 employers actively pursue corps members and alumni through internships, networking opportunities, and deferrals. 

Learn more about Teach For America’s graduate and employer partners.


Diverse Network

Throughout your time in the corps, you will have the opportunity to connect with corps members and alumni through staff events or professional development sessions in your region.

After completing your two years in the corps, you will go on to join the network of allies, colleagues, and friends who are working together to create a better future for our country’s children.

TFA’s vibrant alumni base can be found in virtually any field you can imagine, and they are there to help mentor, challenge, and connect you to purposeful and meaningful opportunities along your journey while continuing the work of challenging the status quo and bettering the future for our country’s children. As a TFA alum, you will also have access to a variety of alumni resources and support to help you continue to deepen your impact, whatever career path you choose.

At TFA, we believe that change requires a broad and diverse coalition of people united around a common purpose and shared values. We also believe that meaningful change must be shaped by those most directly impacted by the injustice. The diversity of the corps is more than double that of the national teaching workforce, and TFA is among the country’s largest providers of African American and Latinx teachers. 

Many corps members join TFA’s national groups for identity-based alliances and initiatives to connect with others across the TFA network who share similar backgrounds, interests, and experiences. TFA alliances serve as a meaningful way to cultivate relationships, hear and connect with like-minded organizations, and strengthen your identity as an education, advocate, and leader.